Sean Duffy
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Sean Duffy

Sean Duffy
Sean Duffy Official Portrait 115th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 7th district

January 3, 2011 - September 23, 2019
Dave Obey
Tom Tiffany
District Attorney of Ashland County

August 1, 2002 - July 9, 2010
Michael Gableman
Kelly McKnight
Personal details
Sean Patrick Duffy

(1971-10-03) October 3, 1971 (age 49)
Hayward, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
(m. 1999)
EducationSaint Mary's University of Minnesota (BA)
William Mitchell College of Law (JD)

Sean Patrick Duffy (born October 3, 1971) is an American politician, prosecutor, former sports commentator, and personality who is currently a Fox News contributor. He first entered public life as a cast member on The Real World: Boston, 1998's Road Rules: All Stars, and 2002's Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons, before going on to serve as district attorney of Ashland County, Wisconsin, and the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 7th congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party and supported Donald Trump's 2016 presidential bid.[1] Duffy resigned from Congress effective September 23, 2019.[2]

Early life

Duffy was born on October 3, 1971, in Hayward, Wisconsin,[3][4][5] the tenth of 11 children of Carol Ann (née Yackel) and Thomas Walter Duffy. Duffy has a marketing degree from St. Mary's University, and a J.D. degree from William Mitchell College of Law.[6]

Duffy started log rolling at age five and speed climbing (sprinting up 60 and 90 foot poles) at 13. He holds two speed-climbing titles.[7]

Television career

Duffy has been an ESPN color commentator for televised competitions and in 2003 appeared as both a competitor and commentator on ESPN's Great Outdoor Games. He was named Badger State Games Honorary Athlete of the 2004 Winter Games.[6]

In 1997, Duffy appeared on The Real World: Boston, the sixth season of the MTV reality television show, and on Road Rules: All Stars in 1998, where he met his future wife Rachel. Duffy later appeared on Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons, which aired in 2002. Both appeared in a filmed segment on 2008's The Real World Awards Bash, while Duffy served as district attorney.[8]

Political career


Duffy, a Republican,[9] was appointed Ashland County District Attorney in 2002[10] by then Governor Scott McCallum, and was reelected unopposed in 2002,[10] 2004,[11] 2006[12] and 2008. Upon assuming the office of district attorney, he succeeded Michael Gableman, a former justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Duffy was on the Republican slate of the 10 Wisconsin electors for the 2008 presidential election.[13]

U.S. House of Representatives

Duffy speaking at CPAC 2013



On July 8, 2009, Duffy announced his campaign for Congress in Wisconsin's seventh congressional district. Duffy was considered an underdog in the race until May 2010 when 15-term incumbent Democratic Representative Dave Obey announced that he would not seek re-election.[14] Following Obey's announcement, Democratic State Senator Julie Lassa joined the race.

On June 4, 2010, Duffy announced his resignation from the position of Ashland County District Attorney to focus on the congressional race. The resignation was effective three weeks later and Duffy returned to work in his father's law practice. He won the race on November 2, 2010, in a nationwide wave of Republicans being elected to Congress.[15]

Different sources attribute his victory to his ten-month head start on Lassa's campaign, his grassroots organization and fundraising, his experience as a district attorney, and voter discontent with the economy.[16]


Duffy was challenged by Democratic nominee Pat Kreitlow.


Duffy was challenged by Democratic nominee Kelly Westlund.


In 2011, Duffy voted to eliminate Davis-Bacon Act prevailing wage requirements for federal projects.[17][18][19]

In March 2011, Duffy was criticized when a video published by the Polk County Republicans, showing a public town hall-style meeting in his district, was picked up by media commentators. In the video, made in the wake of the passage of a controversial state bill which would have effectively frozen the salaries of state employees, Duffy was asked about whether he would be willing to cut his own $174,000 salary. Duffy responded that he would only be willing to do so as part of a general round of salary cuts for government employees, and insisted that he was "struggling" to get by, despite his salary being nearly three times the average for Wisconsin residents.[20][21][22][23]

On December 22, 2011, Duffy and fellow GOP House freshman Rick Crawford (Arkansas), published an open letter to Speaker Boehner, urging the leader to allow the House to vote on the Senate's two-month tax cut extension compromise.[24]

In 2013, Duffy and Democratic House member Michael Michaud (Maine) introduced a resolution calling for government action to ensure that people be provided with paper-based information along with electronic.[25]

In October 2015, Duffy was named to serve on the Select Investigative Panel on Planned Parenthood.[26]

Duffy supported President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to impose a temporary ban on entry to the U.S. to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. He stated that "President Trump is fulfilling a campaign promise to re-evaluate our visa vetting process so that the American people are safe from terrorism."[27]

In January 2017, Duffy co-sponsored legislation that would end protection for grey wolves in the Endangered Species Act.[28]

On December 6, 2018, Duffy's legislation (H.R. 5784) to rename a Post Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin was passed into law. [29]

In July 2018, Duffy said that Europe, China, Canada and Mexico had committed "economic terrorism in a way" by placing retaliatory tariffs on the United States in response to tariffs enacted by the Trump administration.[30]

Duffy resigned his seat effective September 23, 2019, to care for a newborn daughter with a heart defect.[2]

Legislation sponsored

H.R. 3448[31] is intended to increase the liquidity on the stock market of stocks belonging to emerging growth companies.[32] It would allow small companies to choose a tick size of $0.05 or $0.10 instead of the standard $0.01.[32][33] To participate, companies would need to have stock prices of over $1.00 and revenues of less than $750 million.[34]

On September 26, 2013, Duffy introduced the Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act of 2013 (H.R. 3193; 113th Congress), originally named the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Accountability Act of 2013,[35] also known as the Consumer Financial Freedom and Washington Accountability Act.[36] It proposed replacing the director of the consumer watchdog group, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), with a five-person commission and removing the CFPB from Federal Reserve System oversight so that it "would go through the same funding process as other federal agencies."[35][37][38] The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would have been renamed the Financial Product Safety Commission. The bill also intended to make overturning the decisions about regulations that the new commission made easier to do.[37] The bill gave the commission more room to get rid of policies that Duffy believes jeopardize the safety of the US banking system.[39]

He was a cosponsor of the Financial Product Safety Commission Act of 2015 and has introduced a number of bills intended to weaken the CFPB.[40][41]

In December 2015, Duffy introduced the Puerto Rico Financial Stability and Debt Restructuring Choice Act (H.R. 4199) (developed into the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) (H.R. 4900) in 2016), which addressed the Puerto Rican government-debt crisis.[42] The bill would create a short-term independent board to oversee Puerto Rico's financial planning and annual budgets, with the aim of restoring financial stability to Puerto Rico and avoiding American taxpayer liability.[43] It is similar to bills written in July and October 2015 by Pedro Pierluisi, the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, in that the Duffy bill also proposes a financial oversight board and access to Chapter 9 restructuring.[44][45] The October 2015 Pierluisi bill was neglected in the U.S. Congress until the governor of Puerto Rico visited Washington on December 9, 2015, to draw attention to the crisis and the bill.[46] "By the afternoon, Republicans in Congress had introduced two bills to help alleviate Puerto Rico's fiscal problems", one of which was the Duffy bill.[47] In April 2016 the bill stalled in the House for rewriting.[48]

The American Conservative Union gave him a 78% evaluation in 2017 and Americans for Prosperity gave him an 88% evaluation in 2019.

Committee assignments

Duffy served on the House Committee on Financial Services. He was appointed Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in November 2014, taking over from Patrick McHenry.[49] He was also a member of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises. He also served on the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit and the Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity.[50]


In February 2017, Duffy made controversial statements in an interview with CNN's Alisyn Camerota, claiming that "[t]here is a difference" between terror acts committed by white people and those committed by Muslims.[51] When Camerota, referring to the Quebec City mosque shooting, asked why President didn't talk about "the white terrorists who mowed down six Muslims praying at their mosque," Duffy answered "I don't know, there's a difference. You don't have a group like ISIS or al Qaeda that is inspiring people around the world to take up arms and kill innocents. ... That was a one off, Alisyn."

When Camerota mentioned the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Duffy said the incidents didn't compare: "So you give me two examples, right. If you want to compare this one person in the last 10 years that you can give an example ... Oklahoma City bombing was 20 years ago."

Electoral history

  • 2018 race for U.S. House of Representatives - 7th District[52]
    • Sean Duffy (R), 60.2%
    • Margaret Engebretson (D), 38.5%
  • 2016 race for U.S. House of Representatives - 7th District[53]
    • Sean Duffy (R), 62%
    • Mary Hoeft (D), 38%
  • 2014 race for U.S. House of Representatives - 7th District
    • Sean Duffy (R), 60%
    • Kelly Westlund (D), 39%
  • 2012 race for U.S. House of Representatives - 7th District
  • 2010 race for U.S. House of Representatives - 7th District
  • 2008 race for District Attorney of Ashland County, Wisconsin
    • Sean Duffy (R) (inc.)
    • unopposed
  • 2006 race for District Attorney of Ashland County, Wisconsin
    • Sean Duffy (R) (inc.)
    • unopposed
  • 2004 race for District Attorney of Ashland County, Wisconsin
    • Sean Duffy (R) (inc.)
    • unopposed
  • 2002 race for District Attorney of Ashland County, Wisconsin
    • Sean Duffy (R) (inc.)
    • unopposed

Personal life

Duffy is a practicing Roman Catholic.[54]

Duffy is married to Rachel Campos-Duffy, a fellow alumna of The Real World and Fox News personality.[55][56][57] They once lived in Ashland, Wisconsin.[58][59] They moved to Weston, a suburb of Wausau, Wisconsin, in late 2011, in order for Duffy to be closer to an airport for his weekly commute to Washington, D.C., where he spent three or four days a week.[60][61]

As of August 2019, Duffy and his wife have eight children, and were expecting their ninth that October. On August 26, 2019, Duffy announced that because he and his wife learned that their ninth child, would experience health complications, including a heart condition, he was resigning from Congress, effective September 23.[62]

Duffy's nephew, Erik Johnson, is an American ice-hockey defenseman and alternate captain for the Colorado Avalanche.[63]


  1. ^ Lim, Naomi (August 24, 2016). "Trump ally: I'm not peddling 'conspiracy theories' about Clinton's health". CNN. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ a b Beck, Molly; Gilbert, Craig (August 26, 2019). "Sean Duffy says he's leaving Congress in September". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "Rep. Sean Patrick Duffy". LegiStorm. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  4. ^ "Wisconsin: Sean Patrick Duffy" Archived 2014-03-06 at The Washington Times. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  5. ^ "Sean Duffy's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Accessed November 3, 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Hayward Lumberjack Champion Sean Duffy Named Honorary Athlete | Sports in Wisconsin". July 17, 2007. Archived from the original on October 19, 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  7. ^ "Lumberjack World Championships, Hayward". Classic Wisconsin. Archived from the original on July 28, 2012. Retrieved 2010.
  8. ^ "The Real World Awards Bash (Extended Version)". MTV. accessed April 5, 2011.
  9. ^ "Real World: Washington - The Scorecard". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2010.
  10. ^ a b "Bloomer passes referendum on first try". February 19, 2003. Retrieved 2010.
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  12. ^ "Wisconsin State Elections Board Results of Fall General Election - 11/07/2006" Archived 2008-04-30 at the Wayback Machine, December 5, 2006, accessed January 2, 2011.
  13. ^ Marrero, Diana (October 30, 2008). "Wisconsin slate of potential electors cut from all cloths". JSOnline. Retrieved 2010.
  14. ^ "Sean Duffy running for congress". WAOW. July 8, 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  15. ^ "Wisconsin's Duffy says he's ready to get to work" Archived 2010-11-08 at the Wayback Machine. Chicago Tribune/Associated Press. November 3, 2010.
  16. ^ "Strong campaign, voter discontent keys to Duffy victory" Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine. News Talk 550AM 99.9AM WSAU (AM). November 4, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  17. ^ "Republican Representative Sean Duffy of Wisconsin". That's My Congress. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  18. ^ "Sean Duffy on Jobs",; retrieved March 5, 2014.
  19. ^ Bivins, Larry (December 24, 2011). "Duffy ends 2011 with bill he promised at start". The Marshfield News-Herald.
  20. ^ Stewart, Rebecca. "'Real World' congressman's money troubles", CNN, March 30, 2011.
  21. ^ Gilbert, Craig. "House freshman Duffy tells constituents "he's not living high on the hog" on congressional pay", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 29, 2011.
  22. ^ Downie, James. "How to Prolong a Scandal, Wisconsin Edition", The New Republic, March 31, 2011.
  23. ^ Bivins, Larry. "Dems mock Sean Duffy's $174,000 salary 'struggles'", Wausau Daily Herald, March 31, 2011.
  24. ^ "Payroll tax cut: Two GOP frosh bail, push for two-month bill"., December 22, 2001.
  25. ^ Rein, Lisa (February 16, 2013). "Group tries to slow federal government's move away from paper to the Web". Washington Post.
  26. ^ Paul Kane (October 23, 2015). "Boehner's next select committee, focusing on Planned Parenthood, to be led by Marsha Blackburn". Washington Post. Retrieved 2015.
  27. ^ Blake, Aaron. "Coffman, Gardner join Republicans against President Trump's travel ban; here's where the rest stand". Denver Post. Retrieved 2017.
  28. ^ "Republican-controlled government sees chance to weaken Endangered Species Act". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2017.
  29. ^ "H.R.5784 - To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2650 North Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, shall be known and designated as the "Vel R. Phillips Post Office Building"".
  30. ^ Dale, Daniel (July 25, 2018). "Republican congressman accuses Canada of 'economic terrorism'". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2018.
  31. ^ "H.R.3348 - 113th Congress". Retrieved 2019."H.R.3348 - 113th Congress".
  32. ^ a b Cooley, Tracy (December 4, 2013). "Emerging Company Policy Deconstructed: Small Cap Liquidity Reform Act (H.R. 3448)". Bio Tech Now. Retrieved 2014.
  33. ^ "H.R. 3448 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 2014.
  34. ^ Lebrecht, Brian (November 21, 2013). "Want More Liquidity? Choose to Increase the Spread". ClydeSnow Securities Blog. Archived from the original on February 24, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  35. ^ a b "H.R. 3192 (113th): Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Accountability Act of 2013". September 26, 2013. Retrieved 2016.
  36. ^ "H.R. 3193 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 2014.
  37. ^ a b Kasperowicz, Pete (April 17, 2018). "House to take another swing at Dodd-Frank reform". The Hill. Retrieved 2014.
  38. ^ "House Members Introduce Bills Targeting CFPB Practices and Oversight". Bank-Insurance American Bankers Association. September 30, 2013. Retrieved 2016.
  39. ^ "Congress to hear impact of regulations in Wausau",, October 31, 2011.
  40. ^ "Duffy Reintroduces CFPB Reform Package". March 5, 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  41. ^ "SPECIAL REPORT: Republican Attacks on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau" (PDF). Democratic Policy & Communications Center. July 22, 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  42. ^ "Duffy Bill Addresses Puerto Rico Debt Crisis; Shields Americans from a Taxpayer Bailout". December 9, 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  43. ^ "H.R. 4900" (PDF). April 12, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  44. ^ "Pierluisi Introduces Legislation Authorizing U.S. Treasury Department to Guarantee Future Puerto Rico Bonds". October 8, 2015. Archived from the original on May 5, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  45. ^ "U.S. Senators Introduce Identical Companion Bill to H.R. 870, the Puerto Rico Chapter 9 Uniformity Act". July 15, 2015. Archived from the original on April 17, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  46. ^ Planas, Roque (December 9, 2015). "Puerto Rican Officials Say Congress' Inaction Will Lead To 'Humanitarian Crisis' On The Island". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016.
  47. ^ Planas, Roque (December 10, 2015). "Puerto Rico's Member Of Congress Is So Frustrated, He'd Prefer Independence". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016.
  48. ^ House, Billy; Kaske, Michelle (April 13, 2016). "Puerto Rico Bill Stalls in House Amid Objections by Both Parties". Retrieved 2016.
  49. ^ Hertel, Nora (November 20, 2014). "Duffy tapped for leadership position in House". Wausau Daily Herald. Retrieved 2016.
  50. ^ Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, archived from the original on March 3, 2011, retrieved 2016
  51. ^ Scott, Eugene (February 8, 2017). "Duffy: 'There's a difference' on white terror and Muslim terror". CNN. Retrieved 2017.
  52. ^ "Rep. Sean P. Duffy wins Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District seat". The Washington Post. November 8, 2018.
  53. ^ Decision 2016: Wisconsin Results, NBC News
  54. ^ "Sean Duffy". WhoRunsGov/The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  55. ^ "Sean Duffy for Congress". Retrieved 2010.
  56. ^ Sean Duffy (April 5, 2010). "Welcome MariaVictoria Duffy!". Archived from the original on October 1, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  57. ^ Campos-Duffy, Rachel. "I'm Expecting My 5th: What To Make Of The Trend In Bigger Families", Parent Dish, December 19, 2007.
  58. ^ "Reality Couples: Rachel Campos". Latina. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  59. ^ "Cast and Crew". The Wedding Video. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  60. ^ Olivo, Rick (October 19, 2011). "Mr. Duffy moves to Weston". Sawyer County Record. Archived from the original on December 4, 2020.
  61. ^ Pabst, Georgia (May 11, 2013). "Rachel Campos-Duffy balances motherhood with activism". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Archived from the original on August 26, 2016. Retrieved 2020.
  62. ^ "Wisconsin GOP Rep. Sean Duffy says he's resigning over baby's health issues". NBC News. August 26, 2019. Archived from the original on August 26, 2019. Retrieved 2020.
  63. ^ Dater, Adrian (November 3, 2020). "Around the Rink: No Doubt the NHL Is in a Golden Age of Young Talent". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on November 5, 2016. Retrieved 2020.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Michael Gableman
District Attorney of Ashland County, Wisconsin
2002 – 2010
Succeeded by
Kelly McKnight
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dave Obey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 7th congressional district

2011 – 2019
Succeeded by
Tom Tiffany

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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